News Tribal Council

Fire safety and awareness

Filling the sky with light and sound, the annual fireworks display lit up the fairgrounds during Saturday night’s powwow.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum


As summer temperatures rise and the Fourth of July approaches, it is important to remember that fire safety goes hand-in-hand with festive fun. Here are some helpful tips to protect you, your loved ones, and nature:  


Barbecue Safety 

  • Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes – where the air and gas mix – are not blocked. 
  • Do not overfill the propane tank. 
  • Regularly remove grease, fat, and debris from the grill and trays to prevent flare-ups and ensure even cooking. 
  • Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flames can flash back up into the container and explode. 
  • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills. 
  • Dispose of hot coals properly – douse them with plenty of water and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers. 
  • Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas – carbon monoxide could be produced. 


Campfire Safety 

  • Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves. Avoid building a fire while it is windy out. 
  • Keep campfires small and manageable.  
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you’re done. Stir it and douse it again with water. 
  • Never leave campfires unattended. 


Firework Safety 

  • The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays. 
  • If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area. Anything that explodes or leaves the ground is illegal in Colorado. Anything that does not leave the ground or explodes, like fountains, smoke balls, novelties and sparklers, are legal. 
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass. 
  • Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. 
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it. 
  • Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks.  
  • Supervise children around fireworks at all times. 


For safety around your home, the Construction Services Division will facilitate the creation of a defensible, safe perimeter around your home by providing the necessary labor and equipment. This initiative mainly aims to aid our elders and tribal members with disabilities, ensuring a secure environment free from potential fire hazards.   

Services will include removing hazardous trees, underbrush, weeds, and other flammable materials. While this assistance will be provided at no cost to our elders and disabled members, other tribal members may incur a nominal fee for equipment and labor. However, I strongly encourage all members to participate in this vital project, as it is a collective effort to safeguard our homes and community. You are not obligated to do anything except allow Construction Services to visit and evaluate fire danger/hazards around your home. Any other actions would require additional permission from the homeowner.  

If you would like to have Construction Services visit and evaluate outdoor fire safety at your home, please contact Danny Abeyta at (970) 563-0260 or email You may also complete the form using the QR code.  

Together we can be vigilant to protect each other, our homes, and our Reservation this season.  


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